RuneScape NXT is the next big step for Jagex in the path to bringing their game up to snuff with current day standards. I have been waiting a while to talk about this again and fortunately for me, the beta was over a weekend so I could really sink my teeth into it and find out what notable changes were made.
To begin, yes, this is running on a new language, props to the Jagex developers that made this. The thousands of hours that have gone into this are noticed as for the most part, the game ran very smoothly. I crashed only once in my experience over the weekend. As a developer I can understand the pain of rewriting everything from the ground up.
There were no changes to gameplay mechanics with this release that are visibly noticeable, however, we may see some improvements slowly added in over the rest of the future of this new client. I am sure we will not start to see things like game tick improvements until the Java client is officially discontinued. For combat enthusiasts that may sound really appealing, and I can see the Java client being dropped sooner rather than later to reduce a booming codebase to maintain. Jagex would really save money by dropping that client sooner rather than later. Hopefully they will jump on the ball of dropping that faster than they did with the HTML5 client.
Speaking of the HTML5 client, how did this perform and look in comparison? Well, I have good and bad things to say about that. NXT performs leaps and bounds ahead of the HTML5 client. It was incredibly stable for a beta and I was very surprised by this fact. I did not feel the pains of constant crashing or graphical vomit all over the screen. I think a big part of that however might have had to do with the amount of graphics Jagex tried to pile on the poor thing. This brings me to the downside to this new client.
NXT is not a pretty as HTML5 was. I think this may be due to what I had just said before. Jagex became more modest and understood that they can improve these graphics, the water is still very good, but is not as reflective as HTML5, draw distance is reduced but still very impressive. the shadows, though yes, they are still dynamic and look great, are not punch through your graphics card amazing. All of those things will be absent here with NXT at the depth HTML5 had, but I was extremely impressed. I don’t want anyone to get the idea that this new client is not as good as HTML5, it was very good.
If you want to have a look at any new area in the NXT as it stands from the beta, you can check over at my channel on youtube or look at the playlist I will ask the editors to plop below this sentence.
So what were the bugs that I noticed so far? Well, day one I froze up entering the elf city via lodestone. But that must have been patched because my second venture there was very smooth. The loading is on the slower side but I can assume that it will be improved as Jagex continues to update their caching system (saving things so when going back to it, it doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting again).
Bank item bugs that existed in HTML5 have made their way back, quite a shocker. The items have been updated that sit in the inventory or bank and that is probably the issue with this. I also have a theory that the shadows that are behind the items also might be a reason these bugs are happening. The items are still there but they all look the same and I had to search or hover over them to actually get the item wanted.
Most of these issues I can blame on the shadows, twice I had to restart my client as the shadows continued to get darker, and darker. Which at first I was looking at the shadows and thinking to myself, “this is extremely atmospheric,” but as it got darker I realized that it was just a bug. I started struggling to see monsters and rooms that were smaller. The biggest example of this was the Slayer tower in Canifis which you can see for yourself in my Morytania video.
But everything else was really smooth and worked and looked beautiful. I have never felt so isolated in Morytania and I have never felt so grand strolling through the elf city. I have also never felt that some areas were so outdated like Karamja. That massive island was so outdated looking that I didn’t even bother recording it.
I cannot wait for the next Beta weekend, I would like to see what improvements are made. I think that this new client might be released sooner rather than later based on the stability of this masterpiece. I hope that old players will see this and wonder what game it is. I am sure that I will be revisiting this topic in the future. Stay tuned, and happy gaming.